Food Corporation of India
The Nodal Agency in Food Management is Food Corporation of India, which is responsible to procure, store and distribute the foodgrains. FCI is a statutory body established via Food Corporation Act 1964 to meet the following objectives of the Food Policy:
- Effective price support operations for safeguarding the interests of the farmers.
- Distribution of food grains throughout the country for public distribution system
- Maintaining satisfactory level of operational and buffer stocks of food grains to ensure National Food Security
For the purpose of its functions; FCI has divided the entire country into five zones viz. North, South, East, West and North-East with a zonal office in each zone. Out of them, the largest zone is North Zone comprising eight states including Punjab and Haryana.
FCI was established in 1964 to handle the shortage of food grains clubbed with black marketing of the food grains by hoarders was a reason for the government to take some action for the containment of rise in food grains prices and ensured access of food to urban consumers. The PDS network expanded in 1970s and 1980s, after the Green Revolution.
In the 1980s, the PDS coverage was extended to the rural areas. By 1985, efforts were made to make it available to all the tribal blocks of the country. Today, with the network of around 5 Lakh fair price shops PDS is virtually world’s largest system of its kind.